Our Sponsors

VIPCoFCCGBroadridgeLink Market Services GmbHAHEADhermesDP DHLK+SSAPGeorgesonSuedzuckerWacker Chemie AGThomson ReutersEQS Group



Corporate Governance – portrayed in the individual cultural and legal framework, from the standpoint of equity capital.

VIPsight is a dynamic photo archive, sorted by nations and dates, by and for those interested in CG from all over the world.

VIPsight offers, every month:
transparent and independent current information / comments / facts and figures on corporate governance locally and internationally,

  • written by local CG experts,
  • selected and structured by the Club of Florence,
  • financed by its initiator VIP and other sponsors with a background of “Equity and Advisory” interests.

VIPsight International

Article Index


Buhlmanns Corner

Copenhagen was yesterday

Why did Oppenheim really fail? Because of the wrong ethics with Esch & Co? Because of idolization and self-overestimation (“divine work”, said Blankfein) and self-serving? Or, and especially, because of lack of supervision and influence by the owners?

Where are the preachers from the churches when it comes to looking after and being responsible for assets? Where are the sales boys with “sustainability” written on their baseball caps, whose blinkers merely get longer after all the expert reports and awards, when the assets lose sustainability? Where are the pension administrators who merely pass on the masses a stage further, but do not ask how they have been dealt with recently? Where are the insurers, who do pay attention in their “technical” business not to accumulate any AIG risks, but on the capital investment side are so fond of practising the cascades of responsibility partly because they are simply not used to anything else?

Copenhagen was yesterday – but how are things going to be tomorrow? It was a charming picture of corporate governance. Was it not just the same as any ordinary shareholders' meeting? The organization may be very well equipped from the canteen point of view, but the meeting is nearly always headed according to what hat the person concerned is wearing – i.e. how important he is. Questions – should they happen to arise – are of course dealt with in the back office. If anyone has anything to say somewhere, that is not going to happen on the stage of events. Some individuals sing particularly well and become celebrated without any objective justification; others make a fuss and thus, even if with less justification, stumble into the reporters' headlines. And if something is after all decided, then either it is obvious anyway, no surprise (same procedure as every year), and in any case a thin brew.

Everybody is against the bonus – so why is it paid? Everybody is against higher temperatures – so why are they rising? And at the end a phoenix from Washington or Salzburg arises from the ashes like a patriarch, and everybody is happy. Over twenty years ago, because of all that, Americans invented a code of ethics called corporate governance, to replace the “honourable businessman”, who had disappeared. That does not mean they squeezed out the businessman, since he was just as past his sell-by date as Sal.Oppenheim & Cie. The only trouble is they forgot one thing, namely to deal with the question how and by whom this corporate governance is going to be monitored.